Podcast: How Is The U.S. Dealing With Growing Cybersecurity Threat … Without A Cybersecurity Czar?

Marketplace Tech (7/31/18) Hackers, probably Russian, successfully broke into electric utilities last summer. Homeland security officials revealed those intrusions for the first time last week. There were also reports last week of attempted cyberattacks on various members of Congress, and this week, the Senate is likely to have a showdown over funding for election security. There had been a White House cybersecurity coordinator who organized the national response to cyberattacks, but the Trump administration eliminated the job back in May. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Daniel Castro, vice president at the nonprofit Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, about…


Young Patriot Alerted America That Russia Hacked Our Voting Rolls So Why Is She In Jail?

  By Will Bunch The Philadelphia Inquirer (7/30/18) Last week’s news that special counsel Robert Mueller had the goods on 12 high-level Russian spieswhose job was to hack computers and muck up America’s 2016 presidential election was a political bombshell — but also a resounding vindication for a 26-year-old Georgia woman with the wonderfully poetic name of Reality Winner. In the spring of 2017, with public concern mounting about the extent of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, federal officials still sought to assure people that there’d been no major success in penetrating electronic voting systems. But Winner, a commended Air…


Russia Monitor: The Number One, Most Important Bigly Question For All Of Us

 “My client didn’t do it, and even if he did it, it’s not a crime.” — Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, FOX News (7/30/18″ By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/2/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Let’s put Giuliani’s comment in context. We’ll make use of a tweet by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA; minority leader House Intelligence Committee) from this week: The evolution of Trump on Russia: No meetings with any Russians. Ok, lots of low level meetings. Ok, high level meetings too, but about adoptions. Ok, not about adoptions, but Trump didn’t know. Ok, maybe he did, but no crime. Next? Ok,…



A Movie For Our Times: “The Captain,” The True Story Of A Fake Nazi’s Atrocities

  [Editor’s Note: From ICE agents along the southern border to guards at Abu Ghraib to many police actions in minority cities to the deceit of Wall Street we see repeated examples of individuals bowing to evil. This film has arrived as a warning … about ourselves. — Mark L. Taylor] By David Morgan CBS (7/27/18) In the final days of World War II, with Germany’s frontlines collapsing into chaos, Willi Herold, a German private separated from his comrades and desperate for food and warmth, comes across an abandoned car with a suitcase that contains an SS officer’s uniform. Trying…


13 Quotes From George Orwell’s “1984” That Are Relevant To Today’s America

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” — George Orwell, “1984”.   By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/2/18) In his too-brief lifetime novelist George Orwell had seen two disastrous world wars, witnessed the rise of brutal fascist regimes in Germany and Italy and fought as a resistance fighter on the front lines in another, in Spain. He had witnessed the mechanization of industrial scale death from World War I with the advent of machine guns, tanks and gas warfare to the development of nuclear bombs….


Immigrant Youth Detention Centers: “If You’re A Predator, It’s A Gold Mine”

  By Michael Grabell & Topher Sanders ProPublica (7/27/18) Just five days after he reached the United States, the 15-year-old Honduran boy awoke in his Tucson, Arizona, immigrant shelter one morning in 2015 to find a youth care worker in his room, tickling his chest and stomach. When he asked the man, who was 46, what he was doing, the man left. But he returned two more times, rubbing the teen’s penis through his clothing and then trying to reach under his boxers. “I know what you want, I can give you anything you need,” said the worker, who was later convicted…


139 Weak-Kneed, Spineless, Morally Bereft, Two-Timing, Wimpy, Quisling House Democrats (Including Ron Kind) Join War Loving GOP To Approve $717 Billion In Military Spending Travesty

  “How are they going to pay for this? Oh wait, that question only gets asked when it comes to social programs that benefit the working class.” — Twitter user By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (7/26/18) With the help of 139 Democrats, the House of Representatives on Thursday easily rammed through the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which—if it passes the Senate—will hand President Donald Trump $717 billion in military spending. “Of the total $717 billion, the bill would authorize $616.9 billion for the base Pentagon budget, $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Energy Department, and another…


Hey, Democrats! Take A Hint From British Labour & Ocasio-Cortez — Move Left To Help People

  The Democrats need to go much further than simply revealing a new slogan.  By Tobi Thomas In These Times (7/26/18) On July 18, House Democrats unveiled their new campaign slogan ahead of the 2018 midterm elections: For The People. At first glance, the message may appear similar to “For The Many, Not The Few,” the title of the manifesto put forward in 2017 by the UK’s Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn. And while both slogans place the public as the center of political action, the Democratic Party still has much further to go in comparison to Labour, which embraced a bold, redistributive…


What Socialists Wanted & Brought To Milwaukee In The Early 20th Century

  “Yes, we wanted sewers in the workers’ homes; but we wanted much more, oh, so ever much more than sewers. We wanted our workers to have pure air; we wanted them to have sunshine; we wanted planned homes; we wanted living wages; we wanted recreation for young and old; we wanted vocational education; we wanted a chance for every human being to be strong and live a life of happiness. And, we wanted everything that was necessary to give them that; playgrounds, parks, lakes, beaches, clean creeks and rivers, swimming and wading pools, social centers, reading rooms, clean fun,…


Time For Boomers To Let Go Of Their Old Brain Baggage: Socialism Is Good Now

  By Zach Carter The HuffPost (7/29/18) It’s a shame that Merwin K. Hart’s life has drifted into obscurity, because in his prime he was a real dazzler, one of the brightest stars from the Golden Age of American Paranoia. In the 1940s and 1950s, Hart ran an organization called The National Economic Council. Neither a government agency nor a laboratory for research, the NEC served as a propaganda funnel for the anxieties of the postwar corporate elite. Men of fortune, like the du Ponts (chemical magnates) and the Pews (of Charitable Trust fanfare) would turn over large sums of…


Candidate Mike McCabe: I’m serious about ending legal bribery in politics.

  Since becoming a candidate for governor last September, I have traveled over 85,000 miles reaching out to voters. That’s more than three times around the world without leaving Wisconsin. Everywhere I go I encounter what I can only describe as forgotten people living in forgotten places. Some are in the inner city. Some live way out in the country like where I’m from. They feel ignored, written off, looked down upon. And they are seething with frustration and resentment. Everywhere I go I talk about making Wisconsin a place where if you work you belong in the middle class….


A Social Media Caution: When An Online Video Isn’t The Whole Story

      By Scott Simon NPR (7/28/18) We live in times of instant mass outrage. Someone does something, says something, or is seen doing something, and they can be demonized with a click. The next time you might be tempted, think of this: In the fourth inning of Sunday’s game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs’ first base coach tossed a foul ball to a smiling youngster in the stands who wore a Cubs hat endearingly too large for him. The kid bobbled the baseball. What people saw next in video clips that zapped around…


Heroic Doctor Faces Down Dirty Politics: As Death Toll Rises In Flint, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha On Her Fight To Expose Lead Poisoning In City

  Democracy Now! (7/26/18) A new report by PBS “Frontline” has found the death toll from the water crisis in Flint may be higher than Michigan officials have acknowledged. The state has admitted 12 people died following an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease after the city switched its water supply to the Flint River in an attempt to save money. But according to PBS “Frontline,” the city also saw a spike in pneumonia deaths during the water crisis. Some of these deaths may have actually been caused by Legionnaires’ disease. Between April 2014 and October 2015, 119 people died of pneumonia in Flint—a jump of…


‘Fight For America’ — They Thought This Was Trump Country. Hell No.

  By Sarah Smarsh Portside (7/27/18) In a dim corridor backstage, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders looked down at Kansas congressional hopeful James Thompson’s denim jeans and black boots. “Hey James,” Sanders said without cracking a smile. “Could I borrow your cowboy shoes?” Thompson took just a second to recover from the razzing. “I wear them because the shit’s so deep around here,” he replied. Through the thick cement walls of this downtown Wichita convention hall, we heard the roar of 4,000 Kansans awaiting speeches by Sanders, Thompson and progressive rocket ship Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in support of Thompson’s run for Congress. It was…


Russia Monitor: Lot’s Of Smoke. Lots Of Lies. And A Expanding Russpublican Complicity

  “Donald Trump says it’s okay for him to lie since “people agree with me.”” — Donald Trump on ABC News 2016   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (7/30/18) Dear Fellow Readers, The last two editions of the Russia Monitor covered Putin’s assurance that he did interfere in the U.S. election for the benefit of Trump: Trump Colluded With Putin & Russia To Help Him Get Elected. We now have Trump lawyer Michael Cohen saying Trump had advance knowledge of Donnie Jr.’s meeting with Russians to get ‘dirt’ on Hillary: Cohen Claims Trump Knew In Advance Of 2016 Trump Tower Meeting. “Michael…


Rep. Mark Pocan Joins Bernie To Raise Alarm Over Right Wing Bazilian Govt. Abuse

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (7/26/18) In a letter to Brazilian Ambassador Sergio Silva do Amaral, 29 members of Congress on Thursday voiced their concerns about “an intensifying assault on democracy and human rights in Brazil,” particularly the incarceration of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the assassination of Rio de Janeiro city councilor Marielle Franco. The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald, an American who lives in Brazil, tweeted a copy of the letter early Thursday, summarizing that “its main argument is that democracy and human rights are being eroded.” The letter—spearheaded by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and signed…


Putting Trump’s Brag About Growing GDP Figure Into Real Life Perspective

  “Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction – purpose and dignity – that afflicts us all. Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product – if we judge the United States of America by that – that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of…


Sssh! Nothing But Crickets From NRA On Maria Butina Case

  By Jamil Smith Rolling Stone (7/20/18) It typically takes a mass shooting to keep the National Rifle Association this quiet. As of this writing, the NRA has issued no public comment about this week’s arrest and indictment of Maria Butina, a 29-year-old Russian gun rights activist who had spent years ingratiating herself with the NRA, as well as Republican politicians and conservative notables. Butina is suspected of conspiracy to act as an unauthorized agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without the authorization of the Attorney General. And yet all we hear from the notoriously outspoken group is crickets. The…


34 Years Ago A KGB Defector Chillingly Predicted Trumputin’s America We Now Face

[Editor’s Note: We post this story and link to accompanying video with a caution. The interviewer was a member of the right wing conspiracy group John Birch Society. The KGB defector speaks in truly Cold War terms of the times, yet, the plan he outlines sounds disturbingly like what we are now facing in the U.S. Where the program described was framed in terms of a Marxist-Leninist coup that program could have easily been adjusted to the kleptocractic goals of Putin’s Russia. It’s a story and interview worth considering. — Mark L. Taylor]   By Paul Ratner Big Think (7/18/18)…


Trump Resorts To ‘Pure 1984 Totalitarian Gaslighting,’ Telling Supporters To Ignore News Coverage Of His Policies

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” — George Orwell, 1984. By Julia Conley Common Dreams (7/25/18) Hours before President Donald Trump’s former lawyer released an audio recording of Trump discussing a hush-money payment to a former Playboy model, the president uttered a phrase that critics said seemed ripped from the pages of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984. “It’s all working out,” Trump told a gathering of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Kansas City, Missouri. “Just remember: What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”…


‘Democracy Is A Life’ — In Our Time Of American Fascism Are You Up To The Challenge?

Bust of “Fighting Bob” La Follette in Wisconsin State Capitol. ***** “Democracy is a life, and involves continual struggle. It is only as those of every generation who love democracy resist with all their might encroachment of its enemies that the ideals of representative government can even be nearly approximated.” — Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette, “La Follette’s Autobiography: A Personal Narrative of Political Experiences” (1913). “No Excuses. Time To Stand Together! (Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )  


Hey, Dems, If You Want To Win: Progressives Are The New Silent Majority

  By Theo Anderson in These Times (1/17/17) Something remarkable has happened over the past few years: A new silent majority has emerged, decades after Richard Nixon made that phrase famous. Nixon meant the people whose values were, he said, dominant in American culture, but underrepresented in American politics. Calling them the silent majority was a way of channeling the white backlash against the civil rights movement. The new silent majority is defined by the broad consensus that has emerged in the United States around progressive policies. This consensus isn’t widely reported. In fact, it’s obscured by the oft-repeated idea…


Republicans Gear Up To Endanger Endangered Species Act Protections

  On Point (7/23/18) The Trump administration proposes major changes to endangered species attentions. Critics call it a “death sentence for polar bears.” Guests Lisa Friedman, reporter for The New York Times, focusing on climate and environmental policy in Washington. (@LFFriedman) Beckie Elgin, volunteers a lot of her time protecting gray wolves and their habitat in southwest Oregon. David Bernhardt, deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior, which announced Thursday plans to roll back core provisions of the Endangered Species Act. (@DOIDepSec) Rebecca Riley, legal director in the Nature Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, where she focuses…


‘Earth Overshoot Day’ Hits August 1: World Resources Consumed In Ever Greater Destructive Pace

“Munch, munch…”   By Jonathan Watts The Guardian (7/22/18) Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive volumes, according to a new study that reveals we have consumed a year’s worth of carbon, food, water, fibre, land and timber in a record 212 days. As a result, the Earth Overshoot Day – which marks the point at which consumption exceeds the capacity of nature to regenerate – has moved forward two days to 1 August, the earliest date ever recorded. To maintain our current appetite for resources, we would need the equivalent of 1.7 Earths, according to Global Footprint Network, an international research…


Study: Middle Of Nation Could Have Carbon-Free Electricity By 2050

By Elizabeth Dunbar Minnesota Public Radio (7/24/18) A group of utilities, state regulators and environmental groups released a report Tuesday showing it’s possible — with existing technology — for electricity generation in the midcontinent to be carbon-free by 2050. Relatively speaking, the electricity sector has done better than other parts of the economy in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Still, in 13 states looked at by the Great Plains Institute, 77 percent of the electricity comes from coal and natural gas. So, how do you get from 77 percent to zero? “Essentially that means more wind, more solar, more energy efficiency,” said Franz…


State Progressive Groups That Sponsored Recent Online Voting Won’t Endorse In Governor’s Race

  By Shawn Johnson WPR (7/23/18) Two liberal groups that used online voting in an effort to narrow the Democratic field for governor won’t endorse any of the candidates after all. The groups Our Wisconsin Revolution and the Wisconsin Working Families Party conducted the votes as part of an effort they called “Wisconsin’s Choice.” During their previous round of voting in June, they identified four finalists: longtime activist Mike McCabe, Madison firefighter Mahlon Mitchell, former Madison state Rep. Kelda Roys and Alma state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout. But Wisconsin Working Families Director Marina Dimitrijevic says none of the four candidates received the majority…


Hypocrisy Report: Chinese Factory Workers Busy Cranking Out 90,000 Trump 2020 Campaign Flags

  By Chris McGonigal The HuffPost (7/25/18) Nothing shows the president’s support for American workers like making Trump 2020 swag in China. Photos released by Reuters on Wednesday show a Chinese factory making flags for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. Since March, Jiahao Flag Factory, located in Fuyang, Anhui province, has made approximately 90,000 of the flags for use at Trump campaign events, according to Reuters. The flags reportedly cost about $1 apiece, a price that is likely to go up after Trump’s tariffs on China kick in. The campaign’s suppliers are likely trying to get these prices while they can,…


Russia Monitor — Another Week Of Freakin’ Flip, Flopping For Putin

  “Kompromat: He’s never said a bad word about Putin. He’s exercised a degree of self-control with respect to Russia that he doesn’t with anything else.” — Keith Darden, kompromat expert and professor at American University. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (7/26/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Or as a reader suggested, ‘Dear Comrades’… While highlighting this opening article from The New Yorker.: A Theory of Trump Kompromat. Is there anyone feeling good about knowing that Donald Trump — the kinda’, sorta’ president of the United States — is compromised by former KGB colonel — now Russian president — Vladimir Putin? Or watching Putin…


Wisconsin Women’s Network Announces 2018-19 Policy Institute

Wisconsin Women’s Network (7/24/18) MADISON—-The Wisconsin Women’s Network (WWN) today announced the 2018-19 Policy Institute. The WWN is seeking passionate women to participate in the seventh session of the Wisconsin Women’s Network Policy Institute. Participants will build their advocacy skills, learn how to navigate Wisconsin’s legislative and administrative rules process, and apply their passion for improving the lives of women and girls in Wisconsin. Applications are being accepted now and the deadline to apply is noon on Friday, August 10, 2018. The Wisconsin Women’s Network Policy Institute provides hands-on leadership, communications, and policy advocacy training to a 25 women from…


Say What? A Handy Guide To Political Jargon

  By Briana Bierschbach MPR (7/16/18) After months of stumping on the campaign trail, the incumbent candidate made a substantial fundraising haul, filling their coffers in a critical battleground race. Get all that? Don’t worry, us either. Many of those words are some of the worst examples of political jargon, or terms that are rarely heard uttered outside of Capitols, campaign headquarters or newsrooms. Unfortunately, election season is here, meaning this kind of insider political code is spilling out into everyone else’s world via campaign ads, articles and the politicians themselves. To help you translate it all, here’s a guide to…


Hard Truth: You Can’t Vote Out Fascism. You Have to Drive It From Power!

  By Perry Hoberman Counterpunch (7/20/18) I’ve been noticing a increasing phenomena on MSNBC and other mainstream media outlets: as the Trump/Pence regime resorts to ever more outrageous behavior, the various pundits — when asked to explain this or that monstrous action or statement — just shake their heads and admit that they’re simply baffled as to why anyone would do something so irrational, so clueless, so counterproductive, so cruel. There’s an unspoken implication that the regime can’t possibly understand what they’re actually doing — which in turn suggests that this can’t go on forever, that the whole thing will implode due to their painfully evident incompetence and/or…


Tongue Bath: At The Trumputin Mob Summit, Fredo Kisses Much More Than Don Corleone’s Ring

[Editor’s Note: Cartoon of actual protest sign. — Mark L. Taylor, 2018] By Harvey “Sluggo” Wasserman Reader Supported News (7/17/8) The Manchurian Money-Launderer has just kissed every inch of his mafia don’s anatomy. The Donald has been washing Russia’s mob cash since the 1980s. The constant stream of ruble injections has funded his many bankruptcies. In 2016, GOP election thieves like Kris Kobach, Jon Husted, Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, Rick Scott (state secretaries of Kansas and Ohio, governors of Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida) and so many more turned Trump’s 3-million-vote loss to Hillary Clinton into a victory for the Russian…


Sen. Paul Wellstone’s Words Provide A Powerful Standard For Today’s Democratic Candidates

  One of the true progressive leaders of he Democratic party was Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone. He had a unique ability to connect with voters by bringing a humane, aspirational message to his politics. The following are a few Wellstone quotes you can use as  a comparison measure to the candidates vying for your vote this election season. The issue is not whether a particular candidate mimics Wellstone’s words and sentiments, but do they embody a genuine progressive message of humane and inclusive, positive vision and values. — Mark L. Taylor **** “This is no time for timidity.” ***** “The…


INTERVIEW: Bernie Sanders On Labor’s Future & Why Democratic Socialists Keep Winning

  By Miles Kampf-Lassin In These Times (7/17/18) WHEN I ASK BERNIE SANDERS ABOUT THE SURGE OF TEACHERS’ STRIKES that swept the country earlier this year, he perks up, applauding the teachers’ display of working-class power. “The teachers may be the tip of the spear here,” he declares in his heavy Brooklyn accent. In many ways, the strikes illustrate Sanders’ theory of political change. He has long insisted that the key to moving the country in a more progressive direction is to make ambitious demands and build movements capable of achieving them. Striking teachers in states from West Virginia to Arizona…


‘On a mission to destroy families’: ICE Agents Target Migrants In Once Safe Spaces

  By Sabrina Siddiqui The Guardian (7/14/18) It was an ordinary Friday on the job for Pablo Villavicencio, a delivery man at the Nonna Delia’s pizzeria in Queens, New York. The father of two pulled up with a bulk lunch order at Fort Hamilton, an army base about a half hour from the restaurant. But unlike previous deliveries , this time Villavicencio, an undocumented immigrant, was arrested by federal immigration authorities and taken to a New Jersey jail. Villavicencio, 35, was fast-tracked for deportation despite holding no criminal record. Had it not been for intense media scrutiny of his case, Villavicencio might…


Mike McCabe Campaign: Join Our Days Of Action!

Days to the Primary:  21! The time for waiting is over.  We have less than a month to the primary and according to the latest Marquette Poll there’s still 36% of the population who are undecided. WE NEED THOSE PEOPLE!!! Please join your neighbors during our Days of Action scheduled for the next 4 weekends. Eau Claire Weekend of Action 7-20 People powered Billboards on Farewell & Main Street 7-21 People Powered canvassing (ward 31) 7-22 Lit drop any remaining houses we didn’t get to. Hudson Weekend of Action 7-27 PPBB TBD 7-28 People Powered canvassing (wards 9&10) 7-29 Lit drop remaining…


Five Questions ‘Russpublican’ Ron Johnson Should Answer About His Recent Russian Junket

Democratic Party of Wisconsin (7/16/18) MADISON — Sen. Ron Johnson, who recently returned from a secret all-GOP trip to Russia, has yet to respond to requests that he disclose more details on his trip now that 12 Russian nationals were indicted in crimes related to Russia’s interference in our election. Here are 5 questions Johnson should be asked at his roundtable discussion today: Why did Johnson return from his trip downplaying the threat of Russian election interference? On his return from Russia, Ron Johnson remarked that Russia’s potential to interfere in future U.S. elections is “not the greatest threat to our…


Missing The Story: Climate Change Is Behind Global Heat Wave. So Why Won’t The Media Say So?

The science is clear. Journalists need to start using it. By Leah C. Stokes The Los Angeles Times (7/15/18) Last week’s heat wave brought record temperatures to Southern California. Hot winds blew fire into my community in Santa Barbara County, ripping through a dozen homes and threatening hundreds more. I tuned into the local news channel, where reporters reminded viewers that we had just finished a record-breaking fire season. They strained to list all the fires we’d had over the past decade. There were too many to recall. Fires are happening a lot more often across California. You can’t accurately…


Fossil Fuel Industry Outspent Environmentalists & Renewables By 10:1 On Climate Lobbying, New Study Finds

“The common good is not represented. By Itai Vardi DeSmogBlog (7/18/18) Industry sectors based on fossil fuels significantly outspent environmental groups and renewable energy companies on climate change lobbying, new research has found. In a study published today in the journal Climatic Change, Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle shows that between 2000 and 2016, lobbyists spent more than $2 billion trying to influence climate legislation in the U.S. Congress. Analyzing data from lobbying reports made available on the website OpenSecrets.org, Brulle found that electric utilities spent the largest sums during this timeframe followed by the oil, gas, and coal industries, and transportation sector, respectively. Overall, lobbying…